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Google introduces Android N Developer Preview

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Google introduces Android N Developer Preview
Google has started rolling out the Android N Developer Preview today. We weren't expecting Google to make this available until May during Google I/O. And to make it easier on developers, Google is sending the Android N Developer Preview to them via an OTA update. By pushing the preview out earlier than usual, it will give Google extra time to listen to feedback and make changes.

With five previews of Android N scheduled before the final version is released in Q3, Google is hoping to hand over Android N to device manufacturers during the summer. Returning to the preview seeded to developers today, it is far from a finished product and more new features will be added as Google works on Android N.

If you own the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Nexus 9 and Pixel C, you can sign up later today to receive the preview on your device. Note that the Nexus 5 is not included. Once the preview is installed on those devices, you will receive future updates. While the page is not yet live (it will be later today), you can sign up at www.google.com/android/beta. Or, you can flash the system image for each of the above mentioned devices by going to www.developer.android.com/preview

Some of the changes now seen in the Developer Preview include the addition of a native split screen for phones and tablets. Picture-in-picture capabilities are also coming to Android with the new build. "Direct Reply Notifications" allows developers to build in a feature allowing users to reply to incoming notifications directly from the notifications shade. And Android N will improve on Doze by allowing the feature to save more battery power when the screen is off. Additionally, Google is working on making apps run in the background more efficiently to reduce the operating system's consumption of memory.

One new feature, Data Saver, will allow Android users to reduce the use of data by apps running in the background, and tries to reduce data consumption when an app is running in the foreground. This is accomplished by "limiting bit rate for streaming, reducing image quality, deferring optimistic precaching," and other methods.

Google did not reveal what dessert or candy the "N" represents. On Google's blog announcing the release, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s SVP for Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast, said that he was "nut tellin" us yet what the "N" stands for. There's your first clue right there.

source: Google via TechCrunch

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posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:42 14

1. Iodine (Posts: 1330; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)

Wow so many new features... Evil Apple will definitelly copy that down to the color palette like with iOS 9 !

PS: Does it have Night shift yet ?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:52 13

4. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2468; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

ios already has some of those features.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:53 9

5. bucky (Posts: 2564; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

i think he was joking.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:12 7

15. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2468; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

Hard to tell when someone is joking on PA, with all the Apple haters and people that are always saying one company is copying another. You just never know when someone is being serious or not.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:00 1

32. xq10xa (Posts: 692; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)

Doesn't that apply to any forum anywhere? Not just PA?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 17:07

42. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2468; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

No but it does apply to most tech forums I guess.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 01:17

58. sharks (Posts: 236; Member since: 16 Feb 2013)

N is for Nutella. Confirmed!

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:03 2

13. natypes (Posts: 1092; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)

Umm I don't think any iOS fan want's to get into a count of features per OS lol.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:05 1

14. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2468; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

I'm a fan of both Android and iOS so I know how many more features and android device is capable of having over an iOS device.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:01 7

25. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

EXACTLY. Because I can go an get a Galaxy S4, which still has more features than today's iPhone on some level.

I mean consider, the iPhone is almost 9 years old and yet it still can't do things Android phones did when they were first sold.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:47 1

38. Unordinary (Posts: 1692; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)

Lets actually grab the user data statistics from the S4 and see how many of those bloated gimmick features are ACTUALLY used on a daily basis lololol. Cry me a river.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:58 8

41. aegislash (Posts: 369; Member since: 27 Jan 2015)

Bloated gimmick features, but at least Samsung actually takes risks and tries new things.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 20:20 2

52. Unordinary (Posts: 1692; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)

Risks like a sinking Samsung Pay checkbook? Investors aren't happy lol.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 04:03 2

63. RoboticEngi (Posts: 709; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)

Well sammy pay is already speeding up alot faster than apple pay (yet another apple gimmick).....

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 20:18

69. Unordinary (Posts: 1692; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)

False "data" previously derailed by other more reputable sources. Apple Pay is now at 32% of all active iOS devices running an Apple Pay phone/watch/iPad. Samsung is stagnant at 9-10% and Android Pay is also rising with Apple Pay.

Like with Windows Mobile, obviously you're going to see something "growing faster" when your instal base is already low as sh*t. Samsung better get their sh*t together. Their tech is great.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 19:19 1

49. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1547; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

Would you stop making Android users look bad?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 19:21 2

50. joey_sfb (Posts: 5741; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

You can't compare a lock down device with one that is open. That's no saying one is better than the other both have there strength and weakness.

For example, Android's openness allow you to customize your device at the level of your expertise. However, this same customization feature make Android harder to develop app for.

And this may contribute to the app quality gap between the two mobile OS.

Bottom-line, there is no one size fit all solution. For some people, iOS is the prefer choice because they just want to consume the best apps, games and content while people like me like to customize. I especially despite ecosystem that tried to limit the way I manage my own data therefore I park my data outside of iOS and use it for entertainment.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 23:04

55. grbrao (Posts: 287; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)

@Techie If i phone does what android does? Then what is the difference between these two? There is a reason these two companies exist, because of different people and there choice...

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:53 7

6. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2934; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

You're right, they sure did...



posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:22 4

27. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Nice post. But they all really must borrow ideas from each other to stay relevant.
Just remember, there is always only one original idea. None of these ideas are really copies. because they all offer some significant improvemnets.

Example - Fingerprint readers have been on laptops for years. The IBM ThinkPad I'd say made them the most popular as for many years, it was the defacto standard for laptops in business.
Swiping was the most known way to use them, but not the only way.

Apple certainly offer a nice improvement, its just they didnt invent that improvement. The company they bought already had such. In fact ALL FINGERPRINT readers companies could do this. The iPhone made it easier because the home button was already large enough to add this without making a major design change to the phone.

As one of yoru links said, the Galaxy S5 and the Note 4, though the reader work, it certainly wasn't as reliable as the one on the iPhone 5S, because Samsung was forced to stick with the swipe option because they type was working with this OEM, which about bought. This prevented OEM from using them because Apple restricted the hardware to their phones only. Samsung has to use the swipe reader on the S5 because they didn't have a choice. But a soon as the S6 was out, they had an option for the non-swipe required reader.

Many of those other things have appeared on other phones too like Virtual Assistants. Remember Siri was an app first because Apple bought it, stole a chine UI for it and rolled it into the iOS code. But using voice as input has been aavailble on Windows for dictation for over a decade. Taking such an engine and droppign it into a phone simply makes sense.

But most people dont care who did what first. They just want to argue around it. Most IOS fans wont honor the fact that many things they enjoy on the iPhone were done elsewhere and Apple simply used newer and improved versions of it. But all those options had a previous pre-historic backing.

This is why I argue that Apple shouldn't be getting praised for such because the technology was created by someone else. Today's manufacturing standard have simply made those things more accessible, much easier to implement and is also cheaper.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:38

37. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2934; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

100% agreed man, very well said. It's just irritating how apple has made all this nonsense talk of copying very common when they themselves are just-as guilty of what they accuse others of. Now iSheeps are carrying that same BS statement to every corner of the internet.

I just find that the satisfying way make them shut up and not mislead anyone else is to point out their hypocrisy.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:51

39. Unordinary (Posts: 1692; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)

Why would I "honor" a previous feature if it was utter crap and not even well known because that lol? "Honoring" happens when someone comes close to mastering something previously poorly implemented, and many people love it, which happens quite often in my neck of the woods with Apple products. Sent from my 2015 MacBook, on the toilet.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 04:06

64. RoboticEngi (Posts: 709; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)

Absolutely true...

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:55

7. shaineql (Posts: 355; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)

No need for night shift ,store is full of apps to do that.
Literaly 100s of apps to chose from , even ones that dim brightness to just 1-2 nits like Night Mode which is even turning individial pixels off on amoled.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:57 1

40. zeeBomb (Posts: 2093; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

Real devs know that split screen is a hidden feature in android m

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:45 2

2. PhoneCritic (Posts: 691; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:57

10. VigneshRaja (Posts: 31; Member since: 17 Dec 2014)

I think so....

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:48 1

3. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2934; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

3-5 Stock android showing it's truely boring iOS-like limitations yet again. Long been using those on my OnePlus One since 2014...

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:56 3

8. Wiencon (Posts: 1870; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)

Yet another time when article has nothing to do with iOS but you have so big butthurt about something that you have to bring Apple's topic every time

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:01 5

12. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 2934; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

Lol, the iHypocrite proudly skipped the first comment, which brought iOS into the topic but was praising it, without a complaint. Then it came crying with it's butthurt 'cause I pointed out stock Android is limited like it's divine iOS...priceless hypocrisy.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:59 1

23. Wiencon (Posts: 1870; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)

Hah nice crying

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:57 1

9. michaelny2001 (Posts: 110; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)

damn... the android N is coming up soon and i don't even have Marshmallow on my Note 4 for AT&T. still stuck on lollipop with 2 second lag on the pin unlock. :-( Android N maybe summer 2017. WTF?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:04 1

26. kartik.07 (Posts: 13; Member since: 04 May 2015)

U talking about note 4? My note 5 is still waiting for marshmallow update.. samsung update come late but this time it just pure bulls**t -_-

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 23:25

56. grbrao (Posts: 287; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)

If they release marshmallow for older devices, who is gonna buy S7?? Its all about business..

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:58 1

11. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)

So basically only one change(split-screen). I guess android updates are getting less and less relevant these days in terms of feature set. Google should focus more on vertical integration and battery optimization.

1 change per year doesn't sound good when IOS absolutely destroys android in optimisation, app quality, gaming, audio, battery efficiency and basically everything. The only thing android has going for it are customization and features.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:16 3

16. insyt (Posts: 49; Member since: 16 Sep 2015)

LmaoLmao. 5 hour battery efficiency? Expensive beats headset audio? Gaming at 720p?

Expandable storage?
Higher resolution support?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:22 8

17. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)

None of the things you listed have anything to do with iOS. Typical android fanboy stating issues of iPhone as issues of iOS.

For your information, iPhone 6s plus games at 1080p which has better textures than any Android phone as games on iOS are coded better. Those QHD phones don't run games at QHD genius. Beats audio/expandable storage/high resolution support has nothing to do with iOS. Remember that IOS runs on even the super high resolution iPad pro.

I think you just lowered the IQ of the sole comment section with the stupid comment. You sir, are a stupid blind android fanboy.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:23

29. miket1737 (Posts: 2541; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)

Took the words out my mouth.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:22

28. miket1737 (Posts: 2541; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)

Lol typical Fandroid, doesn't even know what he is talking about

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:38 1

18. Ordinary (Posts: 2317; Member since: 23 Apr 2015)

They also added Java 8 for devs and worked on Project Svelte also, there is probably more.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 00:36 1

57. vincelongman (Posts: 4425; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

Google are doing basically exactly what you want

Supposed Google have signed a deal with HTC to make Nexus phones for 3 years, rumors are they wanted "Apple-like" control and vertical integration

Project Svelte - optimisation and battery efficiency
Improved Doze - battery efficiency
Key Attestation - security
Newer JIT/AOT compilation - app quality
Data Saver - battery efficiency
Accessibility enhancements - night mode, color temp control, custom DPI, quick toggles customisation
OpenGL™ ES 3.2 API - app quality/gaming (Vulkan is already supported at OS level in 6.0, but hardware vendors need to update their drivers)
Java 8 - app quality

Doesn't seem like there are any major improvements in audio, but they've been improving audio latency constantly in 5.1 and 6.0 (although slowly)

App quality and gaming aren't really what Google can control directly
There were rumors that Google were going to get involved with SoC design though.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 01:23 1

59. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)

Android has been doing these project butter/svelte for years now, but still performance gets worsened with each update. Their own apps like 'google play services' is the root of all evil, running constantly in background giving all your data to google, while consuming resources and battery.

Android doesn't even get notifications properly. To get them, a process of the app needs to be in RAM, hence consuming way more battery than iOS. Google removed the timer on notifications with lollipop, which led to all the issues we have today.

These are all powerful words. Kinda like Sony does with their phones. But the end result is always crap. android is as untamed as it was a few years ago, if not worse. Any phone will run better on kitkat rather than lollipop or marshmallow.

And the biggest issue is yet to be addressed: fragmentation. Except Nexus devices, all other devices get late updates, if at all. Up till February, kitkat had the largest market share. And google is reeasing android N preview when adoption of marshmallow is less than 2.5%.

I think it's time to give up on google. Android can't game, can't play audio and doesn't even have close to the quality of apps as app store. I guess those are all the things one does on a phone. Sure, you have more control, but what good is it if iOS is going to run better even if you do all the tinkering.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 01:52 2

60. vincelongman (Posts: 4425; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

Maybe on TouchWiz

But stock Android is only getting faster on my Nexus 5
Meanwhile iOS 9.2 on my iPad Mini 2 performs worst than my brother's 2013 Moto G

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 02:06

61. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)

I have used Nexus 5X and it doesn't feel remotely as fast as my S6. Maybe google is doing some good development on nexus 5 in particular.

Anyway, when I talk about android, my experiences are regarding moto X(2014), which I own. I have experienced kitkat on it, lollipop and now marshmallow. Marshmallow is definitely better than lollipop but still nowhere as efficient as kitkat.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 02:40 1

62. vincelongman (Posts: 4425; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

But the Nexus 5X is slow because of its SD 808
Also considering its $400, verus the S6 which is $650

The 5X got major performance improvements in the March Security update
So hopefully its on par with the Nexus 5 and 6P now

I can still get the same SOT with Marshmallow as that I got with Kitkat after
That's kinda impressive considering my battery is over 2 years old now

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 04:54

66. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)

Nexus 5x and s6 cost about the same (32 GB for both) where I live. So the point is moot.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 04:10 1

65. RoboticEngi (Posts: 709; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)

And still my S6 runs just as nice as my wifes iphone 6.......You are just another retard fanboy....

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 04:55 1

67. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)

Iphone 6 runs like crap on IOS 9. So does my s6. So yes, you're right.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:51 1

19. kefalin (Posts: 249; Member since: 08 Feb 2015)

lol Android N preview is out and im still sticking with 5.1.1,whats wrong with this world?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:58 1

22. irossdrummer (Posts: 132; Member since: 17 Jan 2015)

SAME I have an S6 and Samsung is taking forever to give the Sprint S6 6.0.1......

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:15

36. TMHKR (Posts: 51; Member since: 08 Dec 2012)

What's wrong with this world? It's wrong that I'm still on KitKat, that's wrong!

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:54

20. Commentator (Posts: 3684; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Putting this on my N9 as soon as I get home!

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:56

21. irossdrummer (Posts: 132; Member since: 17 Jan 2015)

Sooooo what touch wiz as done years ago (s4, s5, s6)? But no every Nexus user calls TouchWiz stupid....

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:14

35. TMHKR (Posts: 51; Member since: 08 Dec 2012)

This is true, Nexus fanboys are sometimes even worse than iOS fanboys

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 14:59 2

24. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

What I never understood about all these OEM like Apple, Microsoft and Google for example who all have made other operating systems, how is it that smartphone didnt have splitscren caoabilities from day one.

Yes small smartphones the concept would have been dumb. But such capabilities already existed in the OS. Windows CE is basically a stripped down desktop Windows varient, IOS is a stripped down variant of OS X and Android is also a NIX based operating system that like the other 2 supports multi-windowing capabilities.

Why did they remove this? Could they not have just kept this in the code and be used on a case by case basis?

Example, the Galley + email. Even on a small screen having both and being able to drag a picture from your gallery into a text or email woudl have been useful no matter what size the screen.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 17:27

47. Shocky (unregistered)

Multiwindow only becomes useful with larger displays, on a 24-27" display I can have two windows open and work normally without compromising too much in terms of resizing or scrolling without any difficulty reading text. .

On a 30" display I don't need resizing or scrolling at all do to increased resolution and comfortable size.

Anything smaller than these down to around 15" and it's not ideal for productivity and it's better to have multiple displays.

Considering this it makes perfect sense this wasn't included on mobile devices, it's only being added now due to pressure, once its added nobody will care because nobody will use it.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:27 3

30. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 440; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)

I say Nutella.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:30 1

31. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

The first iPad shoudl have supported split-screen. The fact it didn't is dumb and suspect. After all iOS is a OS X variant and supports multi-windowing like Windows.

In the past, phone screens were simply too small for such, but the tablet never was.
The problem was Apple was lazy and simply shoved iPhone OS onto the iPad without using the benefits of the screen size. Something that has lasted on the iPad for years even though several Samsung tablets have all offered multi-windows capabilities, which no other OEM has.

In recent years Apple has copied a lot of things from Samsung specifically, and yet Samsung hasn't raised one hand to take Apple to court. Why? Because these features are designed to enhance the use of a phone and should be something we all share.

The one feature Samsung copied which Apple totally screwed up was one-handed mode. But I think they counted do it the way Samsung did it because it is patented. Even in the above photo, you can see Google native way isnt exactly the was Samsung offers it.

But the iPhone 6 models...all of them should have split screen by now. Considering the S3 with it 4.3" display had it.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 17:24 1

45. AlikMalix (Posts: 5836; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)

To be honest, split screen, even multi-window, including hundreds of features were all on Jailbrake commuinty before samsung, android, or w/e had it... I bet you samsung and others dig around the cydia store for ideas all the time...

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 20:27 2

53. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)

you mean it was available in 2012?

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